Belfast Telegraph

Pastor who will receive MBE for community work is told his funding will now be slashed

By Brett Campbell

A peaceline pastor who will receive an MBE for his services to the community at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace next week has had his funding slashed due to the absence of an Executive minister at Stormont.

Pastor Jack McKee received the devastating news that the vital government funding which he relies on will be cut by 11% just days before he is due to travel to London to receive the prestigious award.

"The idea of awarding an MBE for exceptional work within the community, and then one week prior to the award being formally given, reducing funding that helps facilitate and develop that work is a contradiction," he said.

The bad news was broken to him by the Community Empowerment Division (CED) of the Department for Communities (DfC) last week. A DfC spokesperson said: "No decisions have yet been made on next year's budget (2018/19). This will be for consideration by incoming ministers. In December 2017, the Department of Finance published a budget briefing document setting out a number of scenarios for budget reductions for the next two financial years ranging from 4% to 12%. Once budgetary allocations have been made to the department for next year, then we will be able to more accurately assess the impacts for the bodies funded by programmes such as Neighbourhood Renewal."

Belfast Telegraph

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